Pleated and shirred skirts and trousers are back in style, and I don’t know about you, but I look terrible in them even though I like the styling.
It seems the secret to wearing these if you have a fuller figure is to look for a dropped waistline.
Hanger appeal is a very important but difficult to imagine concept in merchandising. It means that a garment that looks beautiful on a model looks blah on a hanger. This can be a serious issue since unless you are selling your merchandise through a catalog or a fashion show, your customer’s first encounter with your clothes will be on a hanger, or folded on a fixture.
Here’s an example from one of my all-time favorite brands, Humanoid:
It’s really hard to imagine what this dress would look like on a person. It actually looks like this:
Which has a very different presentation. If I saw the first picture, I probably would have passed up this dress.
I have sadly been neglecting my blog because I have had a lot of client work to get out the door before the holidays. However, I’m back now! So let’s show what we’ve learned from our trend research.
So, now that I’ve shopped the stores and consulted my trend research tools, here are the trends I’m excited about for this collection:
Seems obvious. Playful polka dots for kids.
2) Country Chic
Country chic can translate really well to play clothes
3) Inspired by Nature
I just like this one a lot. So pretty!
So using these three trends, we will develop some sketches and flesh out the line.
Next: Fabrics and Colors
Shopping the stores is not really what it sounds like – the last thing you should be doing is looking for styles to add to your personal wardrobe. Shopping from a trend research perspective is more like being a detective. Your job is to figure out what that store’s strategy is.
A major tool of the industry is going out into the marketplace (the physical stores) to see what is actually happening on that sales floor. You can do all the research you want, but ultimately, you want to know how your potential customers really behave, and how the stores are addressing it.
Before you go, you need a few things:
1) a notebook to rapid sketch and take notes. You will be taking a lot of notes.
2) a camera for taking pictures. Be very careful about taking pictures in a store. You can get thrown out for looking shady. If you get asked to leave, just leave. You don’t want to get permanently banned.
Locate a store. Big places like Kohls, Macys, or Bergdorf Goodman (depending on our market level) are great places to get an overview of a market category because each of the floors are actually named for their market category!
Take a picture of the window display. The styles in the window are placed there usually for two reasons: they’re eye-catching (bright colors, unusual silhouette) or they’re something the store expects to be a top-seller.
Walk around the floor and make a sketch of the layout. What is displayed at the front and what is buried in the back of the store?
How are clothes grouped? Is denim near woven shirts or casual knit tops? What colors are displayed over and over again?
Pick out the 5 most prominently displayed styles and try them on. How do they fit? Are they body skimming or oversized? Make sketches or take pictures of them and note all the details.
What’s on the sale rack? Make a careful note of what colors and styles are there.
Once you’re through these steps, you should have a good idea of what styles are selling well and what styles are not selling very well at all. You should know what colors they expect to be trendy and what colors aren’t working for the customers. This is a great way to understand what trends are catching on and gives you a good reference for a direction for your own line.